How many current Bucs have played in Trop? Take a guess
More from the Fun But Exhaustive Trivia Department: After hanging out in the outfield at Tropicana Field as the Bucs practiced indoors to get away from steady rains at One Buc Place, I wondered: How many current Bucs players have played a football game in the Trop?
Take a guess, before you read on. Think about which games are played there, and whatever would seem like an impressively large guess, add a few more.
You probably remember the St. Petersburg Bowl, or MagicJack Bowl or Bitcoin Bowl or Beef O'Brady's Bowl. You might remember the East-West Shrine Game. (Your guess is increasing a bit more). What about the Under Armour All-American game, also played at the Trop?
The correct answer, best we can tell after far too much research? Twenty. 20! Nearly a quarter of the 90 players on roster. Here's how it breaks down:
East-West Shrine Game: It's been played at the Trop since 2012. Just this January, three current Bucs rookies played there in guard Taylor Fallin, safety Elijah Shumate and tight end Kivon Cartwright (who actually caught an 11-yard touchdown). In 2015, two current Bucs: WR Andre Davis (3 catches, 36 yards) and newly signed defensive end Martin Ifedi. In 2014, receiver Bernard Reedy (four for 46 and a touchdown). In 2013, defensive tackle A.J. Francis (sack and forced fumble) and safety Bradley McDougald (two tackles). And in 2012, punter Bryan Anger and safety Keith Tandy. So on Shrine alone, there's 10 guys.
St. Petersburg Bowl: There are four current Bucs who played in the December bowl game at the Trop -- defensive tackle Clinton McDonald played with Memphis in 2008 (four tackles in his final college game), cornerback Josh Robinson (UCF) and long-snapper Andrew DePaola (Rutgers) played against each other in 2009, with DePaola getting one special-teams tackle and Robinson getting four tackles. And in 2012, running back Storm Johnson (UCF) got six carries in the fourth quarter and piled up 50 yards.
Under Armour All-American Game: This showcase game for high school All-Americans also has plenty of current Bucs among its alums. The game was played at the Trop from 2010-15, so you just missed out on receiver Russell Shepard, who played in the game in Orlando in 2009. But in 2010, defensive end Will Gholston played, as did Storm Johnson (so he's played in two different games at the Trop). Quarterback Jameis Winston played in 2012 -- he went 8-for-9 for 178 yards and two touchdowns, before he'd even gotten to FSU. He wasn't the only Bucs star in that game -- defensive end Noah Spence had three sacks, and defensive end Channing Ward had two sacks and seven total tackles and committed to Ole Miss during the game. Linebacker Kwon Alexander also played in the game. And finally, in 2013, cornerback Vernon Hargreaves played in the Under Armour game as well.
And if that wasn't enough obscure trivia for one post, there are nine current Bucs players who have played football games in other American League East stadiums: rookie safety Elijah Shumate played in Fenway last year as Notre Dame beat Boston College (he had four tackles), and linebacker Jeremiah George played at Yankee Stadium with Iowa State in the Pinstripe Bowl in 2011. In the 2014 Pinstripe, two current Bucs went head-to-head, with Penn State offensive tackle Donovan Smith winning in overtime against Boston College linebacker Josh Keyes.
Five current Bucs played in NFL games in Toronto when the Bills played games there: Major Wright with the Bears in 2010, J.R. Sweezy and Clinton McDonald with Seahawks in 2012 and Joe Hawley and Cliff Matthews with Falcons in 2013. (I'll also include Bucs director of player development Duke Preston, who played for Bills in Toronto in the 2008 preseason.)